Chicken is an incredibly versatile food – there are so many different ways to cook it. Each cooking method can produce different flavors and textures. By experimenting, you can bring excitement to your chicken dishes. Below are just 10 different ways to cook chicken.
Roasting chicken typically involves putting a whole bird or half bird in the oven for 45 to 1 ½ hours at 375 to 500 degrees. This produces a crispy dark skin and juicy texture to the meat.
Chicken can be roasted in smaller parts (such as leg or breast) although this is typically referred to as ‘baking’. In this case, the temperature is still high but the cooking time may be a lot shorter.
There’s an art to creating the perfect roast chicken. Seasoning it, stuffing it and basting it can all help to make it more flavorsome and succulent. Check out this guide to roasting chicken for a more in depth guide.
Slow-roasting basically involves roasting chicken at a much lower temperature for a longer period (usually 300 to 350 degrees for 1 ½ to 2 hours). This results in softer skin but may cause meat to be much more tender so that it slips off the bone.
As with regular roasting, you can season, stuff and baste the chicken to produce better results. It’s possible to use a combination of roasting and slow-roasting to achieve crispy skin and tender meat.
Cooking chicken on a grill is faster than roasting. It’s typically done with skinless meat slices – creating distinctive char lines and added flavour. A chicken breast can typically be cooked in 9 -10 minutes (just make sure to regularly flip it).
Grilling can be done in an oven or on a barbecue. Various seasonings can be applied to grilled chicken from kosher salt to garlic powder to provide added flavor.
Pan fry it
Pan frying is typically done with chicken breasts or smaller cuts such as strips or diced cubes. It typically takes 7 – 8 minutes to pan fry a chicken breast (about 3 ½ to 4 minutes each side).
Oil or butter is typically added to the pan to prevent chicken from sticking. Vegetables and herbs can be fried with chicken to help create infused flavors.
Braising involves frying meat at a lower temperature for a long period in a liquid or sauce (such as a marinade or stock). This causes juices to seep out of the chicken and add to the flavour of the liquid .Putting a lid on the pan can help to preserve flavor.
This cooking method typically takes 1 ½ hours. Although one of the slower methods, it can be worth it for the added succulence.
Deep fry it
Deep frying chicken involves immersing it completely in oil or hot fat. This results in a juicy succulence. Flour of cornstarch is usually added to provide that distinctive battered texture
It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to deep fry chicken. Deep frying can be one of the tastiest methods of preparing chicken, but also one of the least healthy.
Air fry it
Air frying produces a similar crispy texture as deep frying but uses less oil. It’s typically a lot healthier than most other frying methods.
Air frying is easy if you’ve got an air fryer machine. Check out this post on how to make chicken breast in the air fryer for a step-by-step guide. Air frying chicken typically takes about 15 minutes, but depends on the cut.
Chicken can be slow-cooked over several hours using a slow cooker. This is the most guaranteed way to achieve that fall-of-the-bone tenderness.
Chicken is often slow cooked in a liquid (usually a stew, curry or soup). Juices infuse with the liquid much like braising.
Boiling chicken in water is typically not recommended as it takes out a lot of the flavor and succulence. However, it is possible to preserve flavor using a method called ‘poaching’, which involves cooking it on a low simmer.
Poaching chicken typically takes about 10 to 15 minutes. You can poach chicken in water or other liquids such as milk or white wine.
Finally, there’s the option of smoking chicken. This involves using smoke to gradually cook chicken for about 4 to 5 hours. This is done using a wood smoker.
Smoked chicken has a distinctively ‘smoky’ taste – it can be a great alternative to grilled chicken when cooking outdoors.